Skip to main content

Flames ruin record night for Ovechkin, Capitals

by Adam Vingan

WASHINGTON -- Preparing to play the Washington Capitals on Tuesday, Calgary Flames coach Bob Hartley knew Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin was one point away from becoming the franchise's scoring leader.

"If he gets it, hey, we're glad for him," Hartley said after the morning skate. "We'll do everything, though, to spoil the party or to at least slow it down. Maybe if he gets a point and we get two, it's even better. It'll be a good combo."

Ovechkin finished the game with two points, but so did the Flames, who won 4-3 in overtime on a goal by Sean Monahan with 42.2 seconds remaining.

"We're on the road here and you've got to find a way to win," Monahan said. "Right now, we are trying to get as many wins as we can to start the season. I think we're rolling right now, we've got good leadership to get us there."

Lance Bouma, Mark Giordano and Markus Granlund also scored for Calgary (8-4-2); Jonas Hiller made 31 saves.

Ovechkin's two assists gave him 827 NHL points, two more than Peter Bondra accumulated during 14 seasons with the Capitals.

Nicklas Backstrom, Marcus Johansson and Joel Ward scored for Washington (4-5-3), which has lost five straight and six of seven (1-5-1).

"That was a really good effort, but at the end of the day, losing [stinks]," Capitals defenseman Matt Niskanen said. "That's just the way it is."

Bouma, who flipped into the Calgary bench after missing an attempted check on Michael Latta in the opening minutes of the game, redeemed himself at 9:09 of the first period when he gave the Flames a 1-0 lead. Traffic in front of the Capitals crease deadened Kris Russell's shot from the right point, and Bouma was able to pivot inside, beating Mike Green and Braden Holtby to the puck for his third goal of the season.

Backstrom tied the game 1:09 later and secured Ovechkin's record. Tom Wilson held off Granlund near the left corner, working the puck up to Ovechkin. Backstrom, in the slot, redirected Ovechkin's shot through Hiller's legs at 10:18.

Ovechkin reached 826 NHL points in 691 games, 270 fewer games than Bondra needed to establish the Capitals' record. Ovechkin (428 goals, 399 assists) is one of 10 active players to hold a franchise scoring record and one of five with his current team's record, according to Elias Sports Bureau.

"It was a matter of time," Bondra said. "From now on, he's going to rewrite Caps history."

Midway through the second period, Giordano's fourth goal of the season gave Calgary a 2-1 lead. The Flames captain swiftly maneuvered to his backhand, evading Wilson and cutting into the slot uncovered to score at 10:20.

The Capitals again responded quickly, this time in 43 seconds when Johansson's missed shot off the end boards clipped Hiller's left skate and trickled over the goal line.

Ward gave Washington a 3-2 lead at 14:23 on a 5-on-3 power play. Hiller unintentionally aided the Capitals again by pushing the puck into the net with his left leg.

The Flames, who entered the game tied for the NHL lead in third-period goals, scored on a fluky bounce of their own with 5:10 remaining. Johansson intercepted Granlund's centering pass, but his clearing attempt struck Troy Brouwer's right skate.

"That last goal is a little deflating, just the way it went in, not much else you can do about it," Capitals defenseman Brooks Orpik said. "We had guys in the right position, and it just takes a bad bounce."

With time expiring in regulation, Ovechkin chipped the puck past Dennis Wideman at the point, outracing the defenseman and finding Backstrom as he entered the offensive zone. Backstrom closed in and fired a pass to Wilson waiting near the edge of the crease, but Hiller extended to make a right-toe save to preserve the tie.

"I saw the entire play," Hartley said. "We had a breakdown and we missed an assignment and they ended up 2-on-1 and I knew that there was still plenty of time. They had the big boys on the ice, but [Hiller], for us, this was the save of the year. The two points go to [Hiller] all the way."

Monahan clinched the Flames' third straight victory with a wrist shot set up by Josh Jooris on a weaving play.

"We never quit," Hartley said. "It was far from the perfect game. It was one of the weirdest games that I've seen, looking at a few of their goals and looking at our winning goal. But that's the beauty of our sport. It can go, and our guys never quit.

"I felt like the third period was our best period. In the first and second, we were not skating our game. That's not the team I know. We turned [over] way too many pucks. But we found a way and that's the most important thing. We stuck with it and got a huge two points."

View More

The NHL uses cookies, web beacons, and other similar technologies. By using NHL websites or other online services, you consent to the practices described in our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service, including our Cookie Policy.